The Best Sports Bars in Denver
If you're deciding where to watch the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles faceoff in Super Bowl LVII, look no further than these sports bars.
In addition to being in the thick of Nuggets and Avalanche season, Denver is also ramping up for the Big Game. The party-sized wings orders are being placed, the post-dry-January revelry is being prepared for, and sports bars across the city are bracing for one of the biggest days of the year. It’s the Chiefs vs. the Eagles on Sunday, and whether you’re showing Southern pride or brotherly love this weekend, there’s a bar in Denver perfectly suited for your game day needs. This list is a snapshot of some of the best sports bars around—determined by extensive beer taps, wall-to-wall TVs, more sports jerseys, signed photos, and banners than you could imagine, and even some in-bar games you can play yourself to release a little tension at halftime. The best part is that all of those best-sports-bar qualifiers will still be there after the game is over and your hangover has been nursed. Don your lucky socks, grab a cold one, and settle in.
Wally's Wisconsin Tavern
There’s nothing better than Midwestern hospitality, except maybe having a TV within your booth for whichever game you’re here to watch. Wally’s is a neighborhood favorite—an inviting pub escape from the hubbub of downtown—with its memorabilia-lined walls (go Packers, obviously) and menu offering Wisconsin delicacies like cheese curds, badger wings, and beer brat, to name a few. Enjoy plenty on tap from domestics to German lagers to select wines and cozy up for all of Sunday if you so desire.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
If you’re looking for the perfect combination of sports bar and mellow lounge, this is your spot. Find TVs all over the place here—at the bar, throughout the dining room—accessible no matter where you sit. Choose from over 90 whiskeys and 30 beer taps, and handcrafted cocktails if that’s your gametime vibe. Plus, once the game’s over, head up to the rooftop to finish off your drink or signature sandwich and take in some lovely views of the city.
Congress Park Taproom
Since becoming the staple sports bar for Congress Park locals more than a decade ago, this place has served locals well with its 30 beer taps, big-screen TVs, and cozy atmosphere. The taproom, which also has four wine taps and carries the NFL, MLB, NHL, and college football packages, has some free popcorn and a few snacks, but you can order delivery from any number of nearby restaurants right to your barstool, thanks to the open food policy here.
The Original Brooklyn's
This is a real Bronco’s legacy bar, having been opened just blocks from the stadium in 1983. It feels like an entirely hallowed space, having originally been constructed nearly a century earlier in 1896. This is a place where people have watched much of the trajectory of a true Denver dynasty, with fans celebrating the victories and lamenting the losses year after glorious year. Every bar staple can be expected, with quesadillas, chicken fingers, BLTs, and burritos all keeping it decidedly unfussy.
Tom’s Watch Bar
Now a McGregor Square staple, Tom’s Watch Bar has become a prime spot for watching the Big Game. Claiming over 155 TVs, a full stadium screen (and golf simulation rooms courtesy of Top Golf), this is a truly mammoth ode to the viewing of all things athletic. Cocktails like the Tom’s Smash and Walk of Shame are joined by pickle brined crispy chicken, a fully developed taco menu that doesn’t shy away from stacking one of its tortillas with butter-poached shrimp, and all the signature favorites from wings to burgers to food coma-inducing mac and cheese.
If hockey, a long list of Czech drafts and minty spirits, and schnitzel, kielbasa, and beef goulash is your idea of a well done evening, SOBO 151 is the place. The lights are dim, the ashtrays generally on their way towards filled, and the crowd is almost always set to mingle. This place is inarguably bold, built for people who are ready for a little friendly confrontation, and the joys of making your opinion known, whatever the consequence.
Stoney’s has established itself as a major hub for folks trying to enjoy any number of games in an appropriately raucous setting. Its OG Cap Hill location on Lincoln is staggeringly large, with room after room of TVs, fried food, and huge plastic cups full of suds. A second location, dubbed Stoney’s Uptown Joint, is more lowkey, though not by much. While the starters and wings are certainly worthy for gametime snacking, it’s the Party Fries that really get us going.
Esters has an admirable formula and has made it work in three neighborhoods, nearly taking over the surrounding area as the go-to spot for, well, just about everything. They have amazing pizza (many of which are named after Phish songs), plentiful brews, a family-friendly atmosphere, and a killer brunch menu. And about those sports—expect Sundays to be as lively as anywhere else in town.
RiNo Beer Garden
RiNo Beer Garden is one of the best places in the neighborhood to enjoy the game while knocking a few back on the place’s 4,000 square foot crown jewel—the patio. It also boasts a massive tap list with an endless array of brews both local and big name, and more than a few ciders and hard seltzers. Perhaps best of all is the weekend brunch, featuring biscuits and gravy and its Spanish hangover with creamed potatoes, red peppers, chorizo, and hollandaise sauce.
The College, as it is affectionately known, has been slinging beers on its corner of east 8th Avenue since 1958. As the neighborhood around it has grown, College Inn has stayed mostly the same, though its semi-recent renovations have breathed new life into the space (without getting rid of that college dive aura we know and love). Cheap drinks and daily specials dot the blackboard as regulars look upward to sports on the many TVs. If you’re feeling nostalgic, the green chili is basically a window back in time, providing good evidence that the city always has its priorities straight.
While Occidental, the more visible sister bar to neighboring Williams & Graham, may not have many of the trappings of a traditional sports bar, it definitely is a good place to enjoy a range of sports. As the pigskin gets tossed around on the big screens behind the bar, metal or punk is sure to be blaring on the speakers. Vibe aside, Occidental certainly has some of the best nosh—with items running from chicken shawarma tots to “barbequtine” and especially for the Jersey transplants, a Taylor Ham Sandwich.
The British Bulldog
It should come as little surprise that The British Bulldog is a good place to watch soccer. This is a solid bar for proper bouts, with all day specials never straying from $4 wells and $6 shots of Jameson. From there the week covers international staples done in proper English pub fashion, with Punjabi wings, bangers and mash, kebabs, and of course, fish and chips. This is a place for vigorously cheered pints, be it the World Cup or an entirely average afternoon.
Society Sports & Spirits
When you walk into Society Sports and Spirits, the first thing you’ll notice is TVs. Lots of them. We’re talking three projectors, 28 flat screens, four sound zones, all major sports packages, and the capacity for 16 different games at once. The Texans, Steelers, Iowa State Cyclones, Arkansas Razorbacks, UH Cougars, Pittsburgh Penguins, Chargers, Broncos, Avalanche, Rockets, and Nuggets all are welcome here, with the spot acting as an official alumni bar.
Blake Street Tavern
Blake Street Tavern holds a special place in the heart of any Denver-bred sports fan—especially Rockies fans. Located just a few blocks from Coors Field, Blake Street has been an important stop on many a pilgrimage either to or from the stadium. The huge, 18,000 square foot space has plenty of room to accommodate the inevitable throngs, all enjoying the TVs, bar games, heaping plates of nachos and what appear to be endlessly flowing taps. Blake Street is run less like a restaurant and more like a Ford assembly line, which is fine by us. Keep it coming.
Sports Column is as old-school as it comes. A (Hall of Famer!) Larry Walker-throw away from Coors Field, this institution has been around for decades and we’re pretty sure they haven’t changed as much as a barstool since opening day. And that’s all fine by us. In the ever-changing landscape that is LoDo, it’s comforting to have a dependable stalwart—one with cheap drinks, suitable fare, free popcorn, and every goddamn game under the sun properly cast across a full range of colossal televisions.
Colin Wrenn is a Thrillist contributor.
Colin St. John is a Denver-based writer, editorandjoke maker. He's written for Rolling Stone, Deadspin, Esquire, and Pitchfork.